As a member of the groundbreaking sketch comedy series "SCTV" (syndicated/NBC/ Cinemax, 1977-1984), improvisational actor Joe Flaherty may not have enjoyed the notoriety of contemporaries like John Belushi and Bill Murray, however the show would serve to inspire and influence an entire generation of future comedy powerhouses, such as Matt Groening and Judd Apatow. Flaherty learned the comedic improv ropes on the famed stages of the Second City theaters in Chicago and Toronto before joining the inaugural cast of "SCTV" in 1977. Along with cast mates that included Martin Short and John Candy, he created such iconic characters as effusive talk show host Sammy Maudlin and the hickish Big Jim McBob from the "Farm Film Report," winning two Emmy Awards for writing in the process. During and after his tenure on the program, Flaherty appeared in dozens of films and televisions shows, including memorable turns in "Stripes" (1981), "Back to the Future II" (1989), and "Happy Gilmore" (1996). With the character of Harold Weir, the overprotective father from "Freaks and Geeks" (NBC, 1999-2000), the actor once again exhibited his knack for playing characters simultaneously caustic and endearing. More than 25 years after the demise of "SCTV," the work of Flaherty and his crazed cohorts continued to elicit laughs from audiences and shape the comedic instincts of aspiring comedy writers and actors.